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America's Health Care in Numbers

CDC Data Paint Surprising Picture of How Americans Get Health Care

Doctor's Office Use

Average number of times per year an American visits a doctor's office: 3

Average number of times per year an American visits a doctor's office, hospital outpatient department, or emergency department: 4

Percentage of office visits made to primary-care doctors: 58.3

Percentage of office visits made to medical specialists: 22

Percentage of office visits made to surgical specialists: 19.7

Rank of neurologists, general surgeons, urologists, and cardiologists among most-referred-to specialists: 1,2,3,4

Percentage of visits made to the office of doctors who owned the practice: 72.3

Percentage of visits made to single-doctor offices: 31.8

Percentage of office visits made by women: 59.1

Percentage of doctors' office visits made by white Americans: 84.8

Percentage made by African-Americans: 9.7

Percentage of office visits with fewer than 10 minutes of face-to-face time with a doctor: 16.7

Percentage with 16-60 minutes: 46.3

Percentage with zero time with a doctor: 3.7

Average minutes spent with a doctor during an office visit: 22

Type of doctor that spends the most face-to-face time with a patient during an office visit: psychiatrist

Emergency Department Use

Percentage of African-Americans' medical visits made to emergency rooms: 38

Percentage of white American's medical visits made to emergency rooms: 17

Emergency department visits per 100 patients enrolled in Medicaid: 82

Emergency department visits per 100 patients with private insurance: 21

Average emergency department visits per 100 patients: 40.5

Percentage change in emergency room visits in the decade 1996-2006: +18%

Average number of visits to U.S. emergency rooms in 2006, per minute: 227

Percentage of emergency room visits made by people with no health insurance: 17.4

Percentage of emergency room visits deemed non-urgent: 12

Percentage of emergency room visits due to unintentional falls: 20.3

Percentage of emergency room visits due to motor-vehicle wrecks: 9.5

Percentage of emergency room visits due to assault: 5.9

Percentage of emergency room visits due to intentional, self-inflicted injury: 1.4

Peak hour for new arrivals to emergency departments: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Least busy hour: 4 a.m. to 5 a.m.

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